Understanding the pathogenesis of the complex behavioural disorders that constitute psychiatric disease is a major challenge for biomedical research. Assays in rodents have contributed significantly to our understanding of the neural basis of behavioural disorders and continue to be one of the main focuses for the development of novel therapeutics. Now, owing to their genetic tractability and optical transparency (allowing in vivo imaging of circuit function) and the rapid expansion of genetic tools, zebrafish are becoming increasingly popular for behavioural genetic research. The increased development of behavioural assays in zebrafish raises the possibility of exploiting the advantages of this system to identify molecular mechanisms contributing to behavioural phenotypes associated with psychiatric disorders as well as potential therapeutics. This mini-review describes behavioural paradigms in zebrafish that can be used to address endophenotypes associated with psychiatric disease. The content reflects the interests of the author and covers tests of cognitive functions, response choice and inhibition, social interaction and executive function.
©2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York